I liked it. It fits with my understanding of how we should regard a guru – as someone begging to be fired.
So it's time to fire our gurus (facts, truths, religious persuasions, principles, dogmas) so the guru in ourselves can emerge. It's time to become as great as the gurus we followed--just as authentic, unique and obstinate.
This is not an act of aggression or disrespect. On the contrary, it is an act of love and gratitude. The greatest compliment we can pay our gurus, coaches and therapists is to make clear that we no longer need them. The treatment was successful; the guru died.
Any guru who wants lifetime employment as the disciple's lord and master isn't worthy of being followed. Yet too often spiritual seekers end up in a position of fawning dependence that stifles their growth.
An unequal relationship means there is a glass ceiling the follower can barely penetrate. To grow beyond the master is difficult, particularly when you are taught not to trust your own wisdom.
Today my Tai Chi instructor talked about Bruce Lee, who is generally regarded as the greatest martial artist of the twentieth century.
He said that Lee never took on any title. Not "Sifu," not "Sensei," not "Master." He was just Bruce Lee, himself. Yet he clearly knew his martial arts stuff and could teach with the best of them.
One of the comments on the Ode Magazine web site, where the piece was originally published, says that the true translation of the Sanskrit word "guru" is "teacher."
It seems that once again, the West has taken a word with quite a simple meaning and message from another part of the world and misunderstood it, or even deliberately manipulated it perhaps?
A good teacher is someone who indeed inspires us with their teachings and to learn, but also makes it very clear that it's the teachings that are the only important thing. All those I have had the privilege to come into contact with have stressed the absolute necessity of not taking their word for anything, but to find out the truth for oneself.
Absolutely, it's an absolute necessity to be your own D.I.Y . guru. Bruce Lee's philosophy encourages this.
I'm not a master. I'm a student-master, meaning that I have the knowledge of a master and the expertise of a master, but I'm still learning. So I'm a student-master. I don't believe in the word "master." I consider the master as such when they close the casket.